108 Questions to Ask a Couples Therapist

Deciding to do couples therapy is a big decision. You and your partner are having difficulties in your relationship and hope that you can resolve these issues with the help of a therapist.

But how do you know if a particular therapist is right for you and your partner? Here is a list of questions you can ask a potential couples therapist to help you decide.

Therapist’s Experience

  1. How long have you been practicing couples therapy?
  2. What is your experience with our specific situation or issue?
  3. Do you have any areas of specialty or focus in your practice?
  4. How many couples have you worked with in the past?
  5. What kind of relationship dynamics are you most experienced with?
  6. Can you describe a challenging case you’ve handled before?
  7. How do you continue to train and educate yourself in this field?
  8. Have you worked with diverse groups of couples?
  9. What types of relationship issues are you typically not comfortable working with?
  10. Have you ever worked with a couple who has the same challenges as we do?
  11. How do you incorporate your experience into your therapy sessions?
  12. Have you ever worked with couples who have diverse cultural backgrounds?
  13. Are there cases you find more challenging to handle than others?
  14. What’s your experience in dealing with infidelity issues?
  15. How well-versed are you in various relationship dynamics?
  16. Have you worked with couples dealing with long-distance relationships?
  17. How do you handle impasse situations in couples therapy?
  18. In your experience, what are some successful strategies for fostering better communication in relationships?

Approach and Techniques Used in Therapy

  1. What are the main therapeutic techniques you use in your sessions?
  2. Can you describe your typical approach to a couples therapy session?
  3. Do you tailor your therapeutic approach based on the couple’s problem or dynamics?
  4. How do you deal with resistance or denial during sessions?
  5. Do you believe all conflicts can be resolved in therapy?
  6. What strategies do you use when a couple is stuck in a negative cycle?
  7. Do you use a specific therapeutic model or does it vary depending on the case?
  8. How do you handle moments of intense conflict during a session?
  9. Are there home exercises or practices that you recommend?
  10. Could you tell us more about your approach to building trust within a couple?
  11. How directly involved do you get in our conversations?
  12. How would you work to make both partners feel heard and validated?
  13. Can you discuss your approach to handling individual versus couple sessions?
  14. How do you plan to facilitate change in the relationship?
  15. How do you help couples improve their communication skills?
  16. What role does forgiveness play in your therapeutic approach?
  17. How do you help couples reconnect and rekindle their love?
  18. Is there a session structure that you typically follow?

Progress and Outcomes

  1. What benchmarks do you use to measure progress in therapy?
  2. How will we know if the therapy is working?
  3. If progress isn’t being made, how do you adjust your approach?
  4. How long do couples typically need to see tangible progress?
  5. Can you share success stories without breaching client confidentiality?
  6. How do you measure the success of your therapy sessions?
  7. What do you consider a successful outcome for couples therapy?
  8. Do you provide couples with progress reports?
  9. What are realistic expectations we can have going into therapy?
  10. What is the frequency of couples achieving their therapy goals in your practice?
  11. Is there a typical timeline for couples to expect significant improvements?
  12. How will we resolve differences in our therapy goals?
  13. Is there a possibility that couples therapy might not work for us?
  14. How do we deal with setbacks or slow progress in therapy?
  15. How common is it for issues to resurface after completion of therapy?
  16. How much commitment should we expect to put into our therapy sessions and homework for effective results?
  17. What happens if we decide to stop attending therapy sessions prematurely?
  18. Can you help us create a post-therapy follow-up plan?

Logistics and Fees

  1. How do your therapy sessions work?
  2. What is the length of each session?
  3. Do you offer both in-person and online sessions?
  4. What are your available hours?
  5. How often are the sessions scheduled?
  6. How easy is it to reschedule a session if necessary?
  7. What are your policies on canceling or missing a session?
  8. How far in advance do we need to schedule our sessions?
  9. Can we have solo sessions if needed, and how does that affect the cost?
  10. What are your fees per session?
  11. Do you offer payment plans or sliding scale fees based on income?
  12. Is your service covered by health insurance?
  13. Are there additional costs for supplementary resources or tools?
  14. What forms of payment do you accept?
  15. Can bills be paid online or do they need to be paid in person?
  16. Are there financial implications if we decide to quit therapy?
  17. Are there any hidden costs we should be aware of?
  18. How do enrollment and “disenrollment” work?

Compatibility and Comfort

  1. How do you make sure both partners feel comfortable during therapy?
  2. Can you describe your style of interaction during sessions?
  3. What if one partner feels more comfortable with you than the other?
  4. How do you handle disagreements between you and a client, if any arise?
  5. What’s your policy or approach when dealing with secrets shared by one partner?
  6. How do you provide a secure, confidential environment for your clients?
  7. What measures do you take to ensure cultural sensitivity and inclusivity in your practice?
  8. How do you ensure unbiased attention and empathy towards both partners?
  9. What kind of rapport do you aim to establish with your clients?
  10. How do you manage when one partner dominates conversations?
  11. How do you create a safe space for difficult conversations?
  12. Do you have experience dealing with individuals who have had traumatic experiences?
  13. How do you handle emotionally charged situations during therapy?
  14. How do you navigate cultural or religious differences that could affect the relationship?
  15. What’s your approach to helping couples improve their understanding and perspectives of each other?
  16. How do you manage the therapy environment when there is high conflict?
  17. Can we request changes to the therapy method if we’re not comfortable?
  18. What approach do you take if one partner is more reluctant or resistant towards therapy than the other?

Communication and Follow-ups

  1. How can we reach you if we have questions or concerns between sessions?
  2. What’s your standard response time for non-emergency inquiries?
  3. How do you handle communication outside therapy hours?
  4. Do you provide any resources or material that we can use between sessions?
  5. Do you offer any follow-up or booster sessions after the completion of the main therapy?
  6. How do you handle disputes or conflicts that arise between sessions?
  7. Do you give homework or tasks to do between sessions?
  8. How should we communicate our progress and setbacks between sessions?
  9. Do you introduce self-help tools that we could use independently?
  10. How do we address any dissatisfaction or concerns about therapy?
  11. How much involvement do you expect from us between sessions?
  12. Are we allowed to share our therapy discussion contents with each other outside of sessions?
  13. Can you suggest books or resources for us to continue our learning and growth outside therapy?
  14. How do you ensure continuity and momentum in learning between sessions?
  15. Is email or phone contact available for us to communicate our thoughts between sessions?
  16. Are we expected to implement certain strategies or tools between sessions?
  17. Can you give feedback to both of us individually after sessions?
  18. Are we allowed to contact you if a relationship crisis occurs between sessions?

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you talk about in couples therapy?

Couples therapy is usually about the couple’s relationship and how to improve communication and intimacy. Therapists may help couples discuss difficult issues, resolve conflicts, and restore trust. They may also provide guidance on coping with stressors in the relationship and improve overall satisfaction.

How do you know if couples therapy is working?

One way to measure success is to look at how the couple communicates with each other outside of therapy. Are they still arguing? Do they still not understand each other?

If the answer is yes, the therapy may not be working. It is also important to look at how happy the couple is overall. Are they happier since they started therapy? Are they more satisfied with their relationship? If the answer is no, the therapy may not be working.

Ultimately, it is up to the couple to decide for themselves whether therapy is working for them.

Can a therapist tell you to break up with someone?

Although it is not usually part of a therapist’s duties to tell a patient to break up with someone, there may be instances when this is considered an appropriate measure.

If a therapist feels that a patient is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, they may advise the patient to end the relationship. This is done to protect the patient and to ensure that they receive the treatment and support they need.

Can therapy help a relationship?

Yes, therapy can help a relationship, but it depends on the couple. If both are willing to work on their relationship and open up to the therapist, therapy can be very helpful.

However, if one person is not interested in working on the relationship or doesn’t want to open up, then therapy will not be very helpful.

Final Thoughts

Finding a well-suited couples therapist plays a crucial role in the healing and growth process. Through this list of meaningful questions, you’ll be equipped with the key insights needed to make the right choice.

Remember, the goal is to find someone with whom both you and your partner feel comfortable working through your issues toward a healthier relationship in the future.

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant. When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.